About 10% of patients in the ICU appeared to develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), but the life-threatening lung injury routinely went undiagnosed and patients did not receive supportive care, according to a study done with data from 50 countries.

A total of 3,022 (10.4%) of 29,144 patients admitted to participating ICUs over the course of a month in the winter of 2014 were found to have ARDS. However, only about 60% of ARDS cases identified in the study were recognized during the ICU stay, according to research reported at the Society for Critical Care Medicine Critical Care Congress and simultaneously published in the JAMA.

When ARDS was recognized, patients were more likely to get supportive care, such as positive end-expository pressure (PEEP), neuromuscular blockade, and prone positioning, the authors found.

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